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Tie Guan Yin

Nonpareil Anxi Qing Yiang Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea by Teavivre . . . . .

I steeped about half the sample packet (or a little over half) in about 10 ounces of water at 212 degrees for about 6 minutes.

It smells indisputably delicious as it starts to brew. Buttery, creamy, smooth, and rich. Also a tiny bit seaweedy/vegetal/grassy, but that’s subsumed by the butteriness.

The packet says to brew 4-10 minutes, which means it’s probably great for resteeping since you only need to steep it about 5-6 minutes in my experience (and with a little less water it would be less). So if you’re in the mood to re-steep, this might be a good choice for you. (As opposed to when you’re on the road or something and resteeping isn’t convenient.)

I started out using a tea ball to contain the leaves, but after a couple of minutes it became clear that wasn’t going to work out because they were just expanding too much so I let them out. Next time I’d just put them directly in the water or use a brew basket. That way I’d be able to watch them unroll too, which is always fun.

After steeping, I ended up with a nice light yellowish-green liquid (hard to say the exact shade though because I was using a green mug). It smells the tiniest bit flowery in addition to the buttery flavor.

The combo of green and creamy flavors reminds me a bit of matcha actually, although it’s gentler here and less vegetal in flavor. This is a very well-rounded flavor profile, with the bright, floral, and creamy notes complementing each other in a balanced and enjoyable fashion. Each sip is amazing. The floral bit catches your nose as you go to take a sip; the creaminess is there the whole time, and you taste the green/vegetal bit during the sip, and afterwards there’s even a slightly sweet aftertaste. And I don’t even prefer unroasted oolongs as a rule, so I’m extremely impressed with this tea and how much I enjoyed it! Teavivre has done an amazing job with this one as usual!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Teavivre

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anxi Tie Guan Yin from Teasenz

I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!)

tie_guan_yin_wulong_tea_1I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water slightly cooled from boiling. The resulting liquor is a clear, pale green with a light yellowish tinge. The leaves are beautifully variegated, encompassing pretty much all shades of green from the palest to the darkest, and just a hint of brown. It’s like walking through a forest in the sunlight! The leaves are rolled, and after three minutes they haven’t entirely unfurled, suggesting that this one might be good for at least another couple of steeps.

The scent of the brewed tea is light but noticeably floral. It reminds me primarily of orchids, lilies, and jasmine – heady, scent-heavy flowers. This carries through into the taste, which initially is very heavily floral. So floral, it almost tastes thick. It doesn’t cross over into territory that’s too perfumey or cloying, but it’s definitely distinctively floral. The mid-sip brings a green beany sweetness that helps to freshen up the overall flavour profile, and towards the end of the sip there’s a hint of nuttiness that puts me very much in mind of hazelnuts. It’s an interesting flavour combination, but one that ultimately works well.

I’m also pleased to find that it very smooth in terms of mouthfeel, with an almost-silkiness about it. There’s no bitterness or astringency at all,tieguanyin_tea even though the water was quite hot and the brew time reasonably long. As the cup cools, it develops a creaminess that complements the flavours (and particularly the lingering nuttiness) beautifully.

This reacquaintance with a Tie Guan Yin has reminded me why I enjoyed these teas so much in the first place. I’m impressed with the quality of this tea, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Teasenz’s offerings in the future. Impressed!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Teasenz

An all-time favorite of Chinese oolong tea lovers. This beautiful emerald green tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin. Poets of the Middle Kingdom have described this premium tea for its purifying taste, bringing you into a peaceful, meditative state of mind.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea From Teavivre

zheng_wei_tieguanyin_2.e980c46029edb5209fc59ddb2e08edadTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

Our Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin (TGY) was plucked in the day before “寒露 (cold dew)”- one of the traditional Chinese Twenty-four Solar Terms . The dry leaves of this tea appear less tender than spring green tea, while it has a richer and long-lasting flower flavor.

(Tips: The tea harvested during the period three days before and four days after寒露 (cold dew) day is called “正秋茶” (means autumn tea, this term differs from “早秋茶”,the early autumn tea).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thank you Angel for a sample of this tea.

I do like Tie Guan Yin and I’m looking forward to trying this one. The website says this was picked in Autumn, October 7th 2015 and offers in depth information into other factors of this particular tea such as garden location, caffeine levels and flavour notes. Well worth a read at the above link if you are truly interested in this tea, it’s always nice to see a website offer so much information on it’s tea.

In appearance the leaves are a mixture of dark green and yellow/green, of which most balls are fairly large in size and appear whole leaf. They bare a grassy and sweet, floral scent.

Steeping Parameters: 7g leaf, 220ml gongfu teapot vessel, boiling water. 

First Steep – 1 minute 

Tea colour is very light yellow and has a very floral scent.

The first few sips reveal a toasted grass and sweet floral medley that lingers on the tongue. Clean and pure tasting with a buttery elegance. After a few bowls there is a slight dryness in the after taste.

Second Steep – 2 minutes 

An increase of sweet flowers but less grass than the first steep. Also I want to point out that the leaves are not fully open. Floral wise it reminds me of gladiola mixed with toasted sweet grass.

A few bowls of this steep show the dryness is still present though still very minimal.

Third Steep – 3 minutes 

Another consistent steep but with an increase of depth, more like toasted flowers than fresh flowers at this point. But still very flavourful and light/pure. The dryness has not increased at this steep.

Conclusion: This was a lot more floral than I expected but in a very pleasant way. It’s not too strong but you would have to like floral tea to like this one, you could just appreciate the Oolong side with it if you’re not a huge floral fan. It remained consistent in flavour and rather refreshing which made it easy to drink. Quality overall was good, even in the leaves after use which were without discolouration or holes. I could have taken this tea another steep or two further but I have limited time tonight, but it should save overnight for a lovely morning steep.

This tea exceeded my expectations and was a very nice example of an Autumn Tie Guan Yin. Considering it was last years crop it’s been stored very well and tastes fresh. I imagine this would be lovely on a hot summers day.

Happy Steeping Everyone!


Nonpareil Anxi Yun Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Yun Xiang (韵香) means roasted. Roasting is the key for Yunxiang Tie Guan Yin’s feature: sweet and mellow flavor, very bright liquid. Usually, people who want to drink Tie Guan Yin will start with Qingxiang Tie Guan Yin, which is the base of Yunxiang tea. By roasting the Qingxiang tea, we can get the Yunxiang tea. Yunxiang tea has long-lasting aroma, but requires 120% more skill and patience for the makers, especially hand-made tea. During the roasting process, the tea will be roasted for 3 or 4 times, for over 8 hours of each time. The maker must control the temperature carefully, and judge the tea’s quality with his experience. We may say that fine roasted oolong tea is made under a strict “fire” trial.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I enjoy a good TieGuanYin Oolong.  And I think I like them even better when they’ve been roasted like this Nonpareil Anxi Yun Xiang TieGuanYin from Teavivre!

The tea becomes sweeter with the roasting process.  The vegetal notes become morph into a nutty flavor.  The floral notes become sweeter.  Sometimes, I notice a “sharp edge” to the floral notes in a TieGuanYin, but with a roasted TieGuanYin, the flavor is soft and toasty and the texture is smooth and creamy without feeling heavy on the palate.

AnxiYunXiangTo brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and “eyeballed” about a bamboo scoop’s worth of the tea into the bowl of the gaiwan.  I heated the water to 180°F and I performed a 15 second rinse.  Then I strained the liquid and discarded it.  The first steep was 45 seconds, and with each subsequent infusion, I added 15 seconds.  My cute little ceramic “Oolong” teacup holds 2 infusions, so I combined the first two infusions for the first cup of tea.

And the first cup has a really lovely, full flavor.  The roasty-toasty flavor is delightful.  Warm and comforting, this is just the kind of tea you want to enjoy on a chilly autumn afternoon.  The flavor that the roasting imparts evokes thoughts of falling leaves.  I taste a strong, roasted nutty flavor with hints of orchid in the background.  TieGuanYin Oolong teas can sometimes taste (and feel) buttery, this has more of a toasty, browned butter type of flavor.  Notes of honey are also presence as well as a hint of orchid.

My second cup was even lovelier than the first, I think, because I started to pick up on some caramel-y notes this time.  Sweet, luscious caramel mingling with the honeyed notes to create a delightful taste.  The nutty flavors are starting to meld with these sweet honey caramel notes, the flavors are becoming seamless.  I’m noticing a slight astringency toward the tail, but it’s very slight and only really obvious when I am trying to find it.  The aftertaste is sweet with hints of fruit.  Roasted peach, anyone?

Later infusions became smoother and more unified.  The third cup was deliciously toasty and caramel-ish.  Delicious nutty tones.  The creamy notes have subsided, but the flavor is so smooth and mellow.

A really wonderful Oolong – a perfect autumn drink.


PLEASE NOTE:  Sorry, this giveaway is now over.  Please keep watching our blog for more giveaways to come!

Teavivre has been so kind to offer us a number of $5. gift cards to give away to readers of our blog!  Yay!  And I’m going to give away FIVE $5.00 gift cards right now!  Well, not right now, as in right now as I type this, but right now as you read this, you can register to add your name to the pot and be part of the drawing for one of the $5.00 gift cards from Teavivre.  Here’s the fine print on the gift cards:  

  • It can be used to purchase any teas or teawares on the Teavivre website
  • By using this particular gift card, the customer can also get an extra sampler pack which includes 2 kinds of our premium grade flower teas.
  • The card can also be used to pay the shipping fee.
  • One gift card per order, please.
  • It can be applied on international. 
  • No minimum purchase required.

By now you’re wondering, COOL!  What do I have to do to enter?  Am I right?

Well, we like to make things easy around here, so, you can earn your first entry by simply commenting on this review/contest announcement post.  Just post a comment and be sure to include a way to contact you if you’ve won.  If you’re already registered with – cool!  I can contact you via PM on  If you prefer a Steepster PM, that’s fine too, just tell me who you are on Steepster.  If you prefer a private email contact, then you need to register when you comment and be sure to include your email with the registration and tell us that’s how you want us to contact you.  

Well, that’s the first entry, but, how about bonus entries?  You can earn them too!  Here are a few easy ways to earn more entries:

  • Like Teavivre on Facebook.  
  • Follow Teavivre on Twitter.
  • Post the contest information on Facebook *Be sure to give us a link!*
  • Tweet about this contest!  *Be sure to give us the link of the tweet!*

See that?  That’s five easy ways to get a cool five bucks off your next purchase from Teavivre!  How awesome is that?  

This contest will run through November 19th.  I’ll be contacting the winner on November 20th.  And another contest will be starting shortly thereafter!  Woo hoo!

Ginseng Oolong Blend from Simple Loose Leaf

ginseng OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf

Tea Description:

A classic Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) blended with just a touch of Ginseng for a satisfying sweetness that isn’t cloying. A masterful blend which features a delightful interplay of Ginseng while maintaining the true essence of our tea, giving you the wonderful taste of flowers, fruit, and herbs.

Ingredients:  Tie Guan Yin, Ginseng

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Selection Club subscription program here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m not usually a huge fan of teas with ginseng.  I’m just not big on ginseng.  I don’t necessarily hate ginseng, I just … don’t love it, you know what I’m saying?  It’s kind of like chamomile for me – I don’t hate chamomile, but I don’t love it either.

That said, I’m enjoying this Ginseng Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf (it came in my July Selection Club subscription box!)  I’ve had a few different Ginseng Oolong teas in my years as a tea reviewer, but, this one might just be the best that I’ve tried thus far, and I think the reason for that is because the ginseng is mild here.  It doesn’t present an intrusive flavor that interferes with my enjoyment of the Tie Guan Yin Oolong.  I like that I taste more Oolong than ginseng.  I like that a lot!

I approached the brewing of this tea the same as I would most any other Oolong – in my gaiwan.  A quick 15 second rinse, followed by a first infusion of 45 seconds.  I added 15 seconds with each subsequent infusion.

The first cup (infusions 1 and 2) is sweet and buttery, very reminiscent of a Tie Guan Yin (which it is) and not so very reminiscent of ginseng.  I do taste a slight earthy/woodsy note from the ginseng, but it melds in a pleasant way with the sweet, slightly “green” notes of the Tie Guan Yin.

The second cup was a little stronger in flavor, and I could taste more ginseng this time but I also tasted more from the Tie Guan Yin.  This cup seemed to be more of an evenly matched combination of ginseng and Oolong tea.  A stronger, earthier note from the ginseng.  Woody notes.  The Tie Guan Yin tasted a little less creamy and a little more sharp with floral notes.  I taste notes of vegetation that unite with the woodsy notes of the ginseng and it’s near seamless in flavor.

Later infusions, I found the ginseng notes begin to wane, which was perfectly alright with me.  The Tie Guan Yin allowed me to explore its flavors.  The floral notes became softer and sweeter, and as I continued to sip, I noticed soft hints of vanilla and notes of fruit that reminded me of a cross between a sweet plum and a ripe peach.

If you want to incorporate more ginseng in your diet, this is the way to do it.  And this one tastes great iced!  A very tasty and energizing glass of chilly refreshment.

I received this tea as part of the sampler pack from the Simple Loose Leaf Selection Club.  You can subscribe to this club – using the coupon code SISTERSELECTION25 and receive a 25% discount when you sign up for the Selection Club!  This discount is applicable only to the monthly Selection Club subscription and not the retail selection of teas.

I love my subscription to the Selection Club!